Rosewall Creek Provincial Park is a 54-hectare nature park protecting an important area for wintering waterfowl near Fanny Bay. The park has an easy 2 km hiking trail that meanders along the creek. However, for a more significant hike, I recommend going past the park boundaries to beautiful Rosewall Creek Falls.

This gem stole my heart completely. And it’s not just the falls that are breathtaking, as the trail leading up to the falls is truly magnificent too!

Quick Facts

  • Park Features: Day-use area; Picnic spots overlooking the creek; Pit toilets
  • Trail Features: Wildlife; Waterfall; Rail trestle; Beautiful trail
  • Length: 2 – 8 km depending on the route taken
  • Trail Hazards: Exposed roots; slippery logs to cross over (on the trail to the waterfall only)
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate depending on the route taken
  • Suitability: The short trail to the picnic area and pit toilets are wheelchair-accessible
  • Bike Trails: Due to all the log crossings, this trail isn’t really suitable for biking
  • Dogs: Dogs are able to use this trail, but must be kept on a leash
  • Other: Garbage cans are available at the Provincial Park picnic areas.

Rosewall Creek Waterfall and Provincial Park. Vancouver Island View

Rosewall Creek Provincial Park

The park offers a small day-use area with picnic tables overlooking beautiful Rosewall Creek.  There is also a short loop trail that runs along both sides of the creek, leading you over an abandoned rail trestle.

One of the best times to visit this park is in the fall when the leaves of the large maple trees have turned into their glorious autumn colours. They make an incredible backdrop for any photographer.

A Bit of History

In the parking area, you will see a memorial sign for Lt. Ian MacDonald. Established in 1956, the Fanny Bay/Bowser Memorial Committee lobbied the government to create this park in memory of this Fanny Bay resident. Lieutenant MacDonald died in action during the allied invasion of Normandy during World War II.

The park also protects a Coastal western hemlock forest and big leaf maple trees, as well as Rosewall Creek which is a salmon spawning stream.

Rosewall Creek trail. Vancouver Island View

Trail to Rosewall Creek Falls

The trail you need to take to get to the waterfall follows the creek upstream and under the highway bridge. Although the trail starts at the Provincial Park, you walk beyond the park boundaries to reach the falls.

From the parking area at the Provincial Park, take the trail that leads you upstream (left at the memorial sign mentioned above). Within a few minutes, you will wind your way around and under both of the highway bridges (Hwy 19 and 19A).

From there you will leave the highway noise behind and continue to follow the creek upstream.

The trail is within a second-growth forest of Hemlock, Douglas Fir, Grand Fir, Western Red Cedar, and Sitka Spruce. As mentioned above, there are also plenty of Alder and Big Leaf Maple trees. The forest is rich with lichen, moss, fungus and mushrooms creating a beautiful woodland scene.


Although this rustic trail is relatively flat, with only a few short inclines, there are a lot of obstacles to pass over. There are many large stumps and logs to manoeuvre around or duck under, and a few creeks to cross over on man-made bridges.

The trail to the falls is approximately 4 km, making the entire trip there and back 8 km. At around the 2.5 km mark, you will leave the Provincial Park boundaries and continue on.

A man-made bridge on Rosewall Creek trail. Vancouver Island View.
This is one of the man-made bridges you must cross over to continue on the trail to the falls.

Rosewall Creek Falls

There are two separate waterfalls to view, both within the same area. The first one you come to is the easiest to take a picture of, as it has the best vantage point. If you follow the trail a bit further, you will be able to get a better view of the larger falls. Please note, the trail to view the second and larger falls is not maintained and quite steep, but doable with sure footing.

During the summer months when the water levels are lower you might be able to ramble along the large rocks in the clear pools to get a better vantage point of the larger falls. If you do decide to do this, please know you are doing so at your own risk. These pools also make a great swimming spot.

The large rocks surrounding the pools and creek make for a great place to rest and have a snack while enjoying the beautiful scenery!

Getting There

Rosewall Creek Provincial Park is located approximately 3 km south of Fanny Bay.

  • Take the Cook Creek interchange off of Highway 19
  • Follow Cook Creek Rd down to Hwy 19A and turn left (onto the highway)
  • Turn right off of Hwy 19A onto Berray Road
  • The entrance sign for the Provincial Park will be on your left-hand side just as you turn onto Berray Road

Alternately, and for a more scenic drive, take Hwy 19A all the way from Parksville. This meandering highway, called the Oceanside Route, will lead you through French Creek, Qualicum Beach, Qualicum Bay and Bowser before you reach Berray Road.

Rosewall Creek waterfall near Qualicum Beach, BC. Vancouver Island View
The smaller waterfall

Things to Note

While we didn’t see any wildlife during our trip, this is prime bear and cougar territory. It’s always best to be aware of your surroundings and be prepared for an encounter. For more information on what to do if you happen to come across either of these animals while hiking, please read our post entitled, Potential Wildlife Encounters on Vancouver Island.

Also, make sure to bring:

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Good hiking shoes
  • Camera!

So tell me, have you hiked to Rosewall Creek Falls? Let me know about your experience in the comments below.

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  1. Correct name is Therault Falls…your description is lovely, though it should be recognized that risk of slipping, falling increases as you approach the upper falls…a game trail leads up sharply from there under a cliff, and on up into a fern gulley bushwack to Rosewall main logging road( which terminates at the microwave tower..there is some existing forest growth here and there.

    • Thank you, Randy, for the name correction! I’ve always wondered if I had that right. Also, yes, very good points about the need to be extra cautious around the upper falls.

  2. The noise of the sealions was such that the local residents in Fanny Bay were complaining. Since then the booms the sea lions have been handing out on have had a sharp ridge welded to them making them uncomfortable for the sea lions. They have therefore moved on. The best place locally is French Creek marina which is down island a short distance. The sea lions are usually in these waters around the time of the herring spawn, which is a sight to see. The sea lions will arrive in February and be gone by May/June. You can still see the odd harbour seal.

    • Kim Reply

      I wasn’t aware the sea lions no longer hung around Fanny Bay. When did this happen? Yes, French Creek Marina is another great location to see them.

    • Barb Hooper Reply

      Plug….French Creek Marina has also put up barriers for the Sea Lions and they can no longer get up on the booms there either. Fall 2018

      • Kim

        Oh man, I understand their reason for doing so, but I also think it’s too bad. Thank you for the update.

  3. Love these falls! My children and I made the trek last year while I was pregnant (17,15,9,7,6,4,3) The youngest was in a carrier, mostly because he is just a slow little dude, but everyone made the trip and we’re looking forward to going back this summer.

    • Kim Reply

      Yes, Rosewall Creek Falls is beautiful, and has remained one of my all-time favourite hikes. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

  4. Roxana Castillo Reply

    Hi!! Thanks so much for all this great info. Do u think that kids (4-5) will “survive” this trail? Tia

    • Kim Reply

      Hmmm, that’s a tough one. The trail is relatively flat, and all the “obstacles” make for a very interesting walk…however, at 4 km (one way) the length might do them in!? I guess it depends on how much they are used to walking/hiking. If you decide to give it a try, you may be in for some piggy back rides on the way back.

  5. I appreciate your mention of not everyone celebrating Canada’s 150th. To me the topic is more about accurate history than politics. I have done a lot of reading and have been trying to educate myself about the history of our country, and its’ relationship to Indigenous peoples. As a result, I have decided that a celebration without a true partnership is premature. Thankyou!

    • Kim Reply

      Hi Charlene, thank you for your comment. I tried to move it over to the appropriate post (Canada Day Celebrations), but couldn’t find a way of doing so. So I will respond here as well. Education is definitely key! And yes, I totally agree with learning about an ‘accurate’ history. I believe that too much has most likely been swept under the rug, so to speak. However, I do feel that the new curriculum that has been implemented into the school systems this year is a huge improvement over what we all learned in the past. Let’s hope this trend continues, and that a true partnership will be upon us soon!

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